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Where Mercury Bay is heading

I wrote an article in 2000 on the TCDC Long Term Future Plan with the above heading. The Informer asked me about the changes I have seen since then, the differences now in terms of the future and would I be able to follow up in terms of how I see the future now 24 years later.
 |  Noel Hewlett  | 

Without question, we live in the best seaside settlements in New Zealand and Mercury Bay residents need to work hard to keep that distinction going. As an isolated region, I believe we must clearly establish Whitianga as the heart of Mercury Bay and move forward with a collective voice.

I might add that after living and working in Mercury Bay for over 40 years I feel equipped to contribute in a meaningful way but wish to reiterate that the articles written are of personal options only.

To look forward I feel we also need to look back and analyse some major achievements:

• Roading network improved on the Peninsula

• Air services, especially commercial flights to Auckland and helicopter use

• Tourist activities continuing being a key economic sector in the community

• Fishing industry also being a key driver for our economy

• Whitianga Waterways, launched in 2000 is a great asset – being built on a known flood plain at the time has shown true professionalism in it’s operation

• A major achievement in Mercury Bay for me is the continued work of Service Clubs, Op Shops, Church Groups etc but above all the volunteers who give of their time unselfishly to improve our lot.

What is needed heading into 2024…

• For Council (TCDC) to be more transparent and communicate with ratepayers

• To give more autonomy to the people possibly through ratepayer groups

• To continue support of our main industries and support volunteers who are the key to our survival

• Challenge Council ownership and control of land and properties

• Reduce land values and or  allow provision for affordable housing.

The bottom-up approach is the only way to our future

Noel Hewlett    February 2024